Need help to identify paraphernalia...


Well-Known Member
I know that my youngest Difficult Child has smoked weed. She has tested positive for it after she had run from home and then taken to juvenile detention. Has always been released back to us.

Today I found, in a little cubby of her jewelry box, very small pieces of foil, probably less than one square inch. Some have burnt residue, some are are just small torn pieces that seem new. There was a cigarette lighter. A bent Bobby (hair) pin. Half of an ink pen (hollow tube). There were ashes in the wooden container that fits into jewelry box.

I have a fear that this is not just occasional, experimental weed use. Please tell me what we are dealing with.

I have taken all these items and put in a zip lock bag... I have not yet told her I have these items in my possession. Also, I found a front door key to our home...which we did not give to her. She has had a history of sneaking out. We changed the back door dead bolt to one you have to use a key to open from the inside. As she has come down stairs to get a drink of water, then open the back door and let a friend sneak in to our home. Last month it was a female who ran away...and hid in her room for a couple of days until I caught her on our roof.

I have had it. Also, in the last two weeks she has complained of chest pain that comes on and lasts 30 to 90 minutes. In the past, she had mentioned it before, but it was fleeting, for a minute or two. See a cardiologist in two weeks to get it checked out. I am scared that maybe she is taking something that might be causing it.




I found the pen once too..and it was related to pot. I can't say about the other items. You could get chest pains from pot at time of smoking...not sure after. Also...who knows what the pot is laced with..the kids have no idea whAt they are really getting.

You are smart to be educating yourself...when she goes out, does she run to her room right away?

Can she smoke in house by her bedroom window? I'm guessing the girl you found is not a good friend..I'm also guessing she doesn't have friends you even know about. She is using..and will find user people.

Have her drug needs to know ...then tAke it from there. Younger intervention the better.

Wish we had acted on some assumptions we were making...cause what we knew, the truth was worse.

Truth...facts...arm yourself with these!'s a fight!


Well-Known Member
Also, she had stuffed a couple of towels under her door... And I found a bank receipt, where she had left school during lunch hour and withdrew $15.

She works about 10 hours a week...and maybe gets about $20 to $30 a week as part of her tip share from being a hostess at a restaurant. But she goes thru cash fast...and nothing really to show for it. She does try to save some of her paycheck. Last time, she had a check and saved $100, kept $30 plus the $20 in tips. So $50...then the $15... She doesn't have to lay for school lunches. We don't let her drive...obviously.

She is very good at lying...



Well-Known Member
I have a fear
KSM. I am no expert on this but I did a quick google search.

Meth, heroin or cocaine use, probably by snorting, are cited as associated with one or more of these items: half of pen, bobby pin, and foil squares.

I am sure that people will have ideas about how you should respond.

Take care.


Roll With It
Have her doctor drug test her and actually send the results to a lab that specializes in drug testing. It is actually VERY easy to get false positives and only a specialized lab gets reliable results. I had a prolonged seizure years ago due to a medication being suddenly discontinued (I threw up for a week and this meant my medications didn't stay down, hence suddenly stopping the medication) and was admitted to the hospital. The hospital drug test showed meth, which I have never even seen, much less taken. It was a false positive but it upset me HUGELY to be accused of this. I was taking an antinausea medication that combined with another rx medication to produce the false positive, but it took my pain mgmt doctor looking at the lab results to tell me what happened. So for reliable results, go to a good lab. It isn't terribly expensive. My doctor charges $50 if you don't have insurance and this includes shipping the sample off to the lab.

I would guess meth or heroin, given the small piece of foil. I could very well be wrong, but generally pot is a dried plant and it takes more than would fit on a 1 inch piece of foil to give a decent high. Meth and heroin are not that hard to find and are much more powerful. Given her symptoms, it could also be crack on the foil. The bobby pin is used to hold the foil and the pen (hollow tube) is used to inhale the smoke. Small amounts are put onto the foil and smoked this way, at least from what I understand.

Given the heart symptoms, my best guess would be a stimulant of some sort like crack or meth. I hate to say that, but it does rather explain the symptoms. Having your heart race and even pound so hard it hurts is a symptom that I have heard about from people who have taken these drugs. I am so very sorry.

Please drag her to her doctor and have her drug tested. They can give preliminary results from a basic test that will then be confirmed by a lab just to be sure. You need to be sure what is going on so that you can get the right treatment for her. I would be changing the locks again and keeping careful track of all keys at all times. I also would strip her room down to very little until she can prove to you that she is clean and is avoiding anything to do with drugs. I am so sorry about this, but this does NOT sound like experimentation to me.

It is incredibly common for people to claim they are only smoking pot when they are using harder substances. I learned much of this info from attending 12 step meetings and listening to others, so don't automatically assume that just because your daughter goes to meetings that she is clean. I was shocked when I learned years ago that the fastest and easiest way to find drugs in ANY community isn't to go to a bar or club, but rather to go to a 12 step meeting. People are often brutally honest about their drug use at meetings, so it is where to learn about and/or find almost every drug available on the street.

I hope this knowledge gives you some tools to help her. Again, I am so very sorry that you are having to deal with this.


Roll With It
Oh, have you smelled either the foil with the residue or the pipe? Pot has a very distinctive odor even after being burned. I don't know what other drugs smell like, but pot is VERY distinctive and you may be able to tell from that.


She is using and buying. Our son worked 3 jobs and every paycheck went in the bank...but babysitting and tips went in his pocket.

I'm not sure about the foil...if it's's extremely does not matter if you take away her stuff...she will get what she wants.

High schools now have heroine all over them...a hit is only 9.00.

Remove her door...and strip her room.


Well-Known Member
K, I am so sorry.

I'm no expert either but found the same info as Copa and have also heard of those items being used to inhale fumes from burning heroin, meth, cocaine, or combinations of them. I agree with Susiestar -- I would get her tested, strip her room, change the locks, and monitor her closely until you find out exactly what's going on.


Yes...get the doctor to give her a clinical drug test. One of my son's psychiatric drug tests positive for pcp so u want a really accurate one. sorry..but good to catch early

Sister's Keeper

Active Member
Oh god.

Given the chest pains and the small amount of money missing from the account and the tinfoil, I am thinking crack. Though she could be smoking heroin. My sister shoots, so the paraphernalia is different.

Heroin she will have little, tiny pupils, like piss holes in the snow, and she will be sleepy.

With crack she will have dilated pupils and be overly active or twitchy or have mood swings.

(My sister prefers heroin, but will take crack if she can't get it)

I'm going to agree. Go full monty on her room. Strip it, take the door off, leave her nothing but a mattress. Nail the windows shut from the outside and get some motion detectors. If she wants to make you act like a warden, then she can live like she is in jail.

Go slow mama

First, let me say that I am so sorry you are going through this right now. You must feel incredible stress and a range of reactions to this turn of events.

I work in law enforcement and I can tell you that whatever she is smoking this way is likely a chemically based drug, it's called free basing. You can search free basing and it explains exactly, but in a nut shell you heat up the drug on the foil and inhale through the pen pipe. It is possible to free base marijuana but as others have said, the scent should help you figure it out. Crack or cocaine will smell like cat urine once it has been burned. Technically if it's weed they call it dabbing.

I am not going to make any specific recommendations for how to deal with this; I will say that her drug use has clearly escalated, but you obviously already get that.

Good for you for searching her room and for taking the precautions you have. I hope you can find some clarity to respond in a way that is empowering for you and helpful and/or interventionist for her.


Well-Known Member
I wish I new how to upload a photo. I took a photo of everything in the wooden box. Then I put it all in a Baggie and hid it. She will soon find out things are gone the next time she wants her lighter.

I did send the photo to my son, her dad, but I know they were at a friends house for a sports party. The last time when I found paraphanalia, I had him smell it and it was weed... I am confused on this smell.

Some small pieces of foil are small and rolled in to a small scoop shape. Not charred at all. Like if you rolled it around a pencil and then fanned out one end. A couple small pieces are just charred... Not rolled in to a tube... Then the half of a does not seem to be charred or have residue...maybe just used to inhale thru? The Bobby pin is opened almost all the way up. So it is like a wide V.

I hope to see my son privately tomorrow. He had his own issues and has talked to her how he lost everything...including her and her sister...



@ksm Hi, My son smoked weed for a long time... Saw a lot of the stuff they use to smoke weed throughout the years. Never saw tin foil like that


Well-Known Member
Sorry that this is happening, KSM. :cry:

A few years ago, when my step-son was staying with us (several different times) we found lots of hollow pens, and several items like you describe. We also found lots of those packets of synthetic marijuana (also called K-2, spice, and several other names).

Of course, he could have been using meth, heroin, or something else, who knows, but don't rule out the spice. I don't know if it is still "popular" or accessible now.

Maybe take the items in to the local police station and see if you can get them tested so that you know what you are dealing with. The heroin overdose problems are such an epidemic now, so know what is going on. I hear there is some heroin being laced with elephant tranquilizer. Scary.


Well-Known Member
I just Google chest pain and street drugs...I came up with many, but specifically cocaine. Please, please drug test your precious girl. So often, like me, we think it's just pot and often it is more.


Crazy Cat Lady
She's chasing the dragon, or inhaling the vapors from heated heroin, methamphetamine, free-base cocaine (crack), or pills.

Methamphetamine or crack can both cause chest pains. Heroin smoked is just as addictive as heroin injected or snorted.

You MUST get her in and get a full, professional lab assay done. This has gone beyond simply smoking weed.

The pen half is used to inhale the vapors. If she were smoking "dabs" (weed resin or oil), the end of the pen would show heat damage and the odor of pot would be distinctly evident. The bent hairpin would be used to hold a "blob" of resin or oil while it is being smoked.

I'd also suggest a hair test, which would show drug use over a much longer period of time. have that done by a professional lab as well.

This is beyond using the kits you purchase at the drug store.

I'm so sorry it has gotten to this point. I'm extremely worried if she is either into heroin or opioid pills as the street drugs are being contaminated or are pure fentanyl analogs these days. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid with a potency 50-100 x that of heroin. It is turning up in both pills and heroin these days due the it, or its analogs being mass produced by labs in China and Mexico.

The risk of OD is high and very, very real.

Sister's Keeper

Active Member
The hair pin can also be used to scrape the residue from crack, meth, or heroin out of the "pipe" in this case the hollow pen.

Heroin is my wheelhouse, so to speak, and I will say that most heroin addicts start snorting/smoking and graduate to intravenous use.

It usually goes pills --> crush and snort pills ---> smoke/snort heroin ---> shoot heroin. Kids usually move on from the ills because they are expensive and heroin is cheap.

I did a lot of reading on these items last night. All of the items could be used for marijuana, crack, meth, or heroin.

I think I remember you said that she has/had a boyfriend who is a meth user? That would be my best guess given the paraphernalia and chest pain.